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Elias, Hayden and Barros look back on first lap crash

Elias, Hayden and Barros look back on first lap crash

After his excellent second place finish in Turkey things didn't go quite as well for Toni Elias in Shanghai, as the Honda Gresini rider crashed out on the first lap after colliding with World Champion Nicky Hayden.

After his excellent second place finish in Turkey things didn't go quite as well for Toni Elias in Shanghai, as the Honda Gresini rider crashed out on the first lap after colliding with Repsol Honda's Nicky Hayden.

The first corner of the Sinopec Great Wall Lubricants Grand Prix of China saw Elias hit the ground after clipping Hayden's rear tyre, with the incident dragging the pair off track and onto the gravel. Alex Barros also became involved, but while he and Hayden were able to rejoin the race at the back of the pack Elias was unable to remount and his chance of more points was gone.

"I'm disappointed not to finish the race," said Elias. "In the warm-up the bike had improved a lot compared to yesterday. We found a much better solution for the tyres and I think it could have been a nice race for me. Unfortunately on the first lap I was behind Hayden when he was closing his line towards the kerb and I had no choice but to collide with his rear wheel and crash. These things happen in racing – especially when everybody is so close, but I'm disappointed to miss out on some important points."

Luckless World Champion Nicky Hayden, who has had a difficult start to his title defence, had the following to say after finishing 12th: "I got a decent start and going round the inside I felt pretty good and was in a decent position. Then somebody just drilled me from behind and I was lucky to stay on the bike. I was out of the saddle, then my feet were dragging on the ground and I was pretty much cowboying it through the dirt and trying not come back on the track in the middle of the bunch. By the time I was pointing the right way everybody was gone. I wasn't sure how much damage there was on the back of the bike and there was some vibration after the hit. Right now a lot of guys are evenly paced and these things can happen in turn one, but it's frustrating for sure. I recovered as best I could, caught some guys and made a few passes but it was a pretty lonely race after that."

Meanwhile, after creditably finishing 14th Barros added: "I had a good start, but immediately I found myself caught up in Elias's crash which forced from the race track, and my bike switched off too. I lost too much time and it was impossible to reach the group again, but I tried to finish my race doing my best, because I wanted to at least get some points. I'm very sorry because my team did a perfect job, the bike was so good and I had the right feeling with it. If everything had gone differently, I'm sure I could have finished in the leading positions, because my race pace was very good. In the end I know that during the race, these kind of problems can happen."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, SINOPEC GREAT WALL LUBRICANTS GRAND PRIX OF CHINA, Nicky Hayden, Toni Elias

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